News Release from AASCU


Contact: Jennifer Walpole 202-478-4665


Washington, D.C.—From June 1-5, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) will welcome 33 senior administrators in higher education to its 19th Millennium Leadership Initiative (MLI) Institute, a premier leadership development program. In addition to enriching preparation, MLI helps vice presidents and provosts become more competitive for placement as a president/chancellor at an institution of higher education. The institute will be held in Washington, D.C.

“Key to developing a robust leadership pipeline in higher education is providing potential leaders the tools they need to advance their careers,” says MLI Director Mary Evans Sias. “The next generation of higher education leaders must have a solid understanding of the complex issues and challenges facing college and university presidents today. To that end, our protégé’s will pair with professional coaches—experienced college and university presidents—to complete a related project at their home institutions.”

On Saturday, June 2, Cheryl D. Dozier—president of Savannah State University (Ga.), chair of the MLI Executive Steering Committee, and a 2010 MLI graduate—will deliver the opening general session address, “So You Think You Want to be a University President…The Truth and Nothing but the Truth About What You Will Be Facing…and Why It’s Worth It.” Later that afternoon, Randy Swing, a higher education consultant, will deliver “Masterful Jugging in Times of Change: Leading Student Success and College Value,” in a session sponsored by Strada Education Network.

Session panelists will offer insight into Title IX and campus accountability on Sunday, June 3. Following the discussion, protégés will hear from Steve Turner, president of Northeastern State University (Okla.), and senior staff from TIAA about what presidents need to know about financial management. To close the day, Fayneese Miller, president of Hamline University (Minn.) and a 2009 MLI graduate, will deliver the Marie McDemmond Distinguished Presidential Lecture.

On Monday, June 4, Dr. Mildred García, president of AASCU, and Scott Jaschik, editor of Inside Higher Ed, will discuss growing questions around free speech on college campuses and the erosion of state support of higher education, respectively. Protégés will also hear from Andrea Warren-Hamos, vice president for consulting operations and senior consultant at Academic Search, about the presidential search process and how to interview effectively.

In addition to extensive media training and one-on-one sessions with advisors, protégés will learn the basics of executive contracts, credential preparation, and how to work with trustees. The protégés will also visit Capitol Hill for scheduled meetings with their congressional representatives, and will hear firsthand experiences of new and experienced college and university presidents.

MLI was established in 1998 to assist individuals (largely African-Americans, women and other minorities) from groups seriously underrepresented at exclusive leadership levels at colleges and universities. Due to rapidly shifting demographics in higher education, there was a clear need for diversity within these critical leadership roles to match the changing diversity of the student population. Today, MLI continues to maintain its historical preferences while accepting any qualified candidate. MLI celebrates its 20th  anniversary in July.


The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association of more than 400 public colleges, universities, and systems whose members share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations, and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development. These are institutions Delivering America’s Promise of Opportunities for All.